In a sporting attitude, Kṛṣṇa wanted to engage in a mock fight with His devotee. As we have experienced from the pages of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has all the propensities and instincts of a human being. Sometimes, in a sportive spirit, He wishes to fight to make a show of bodily strength, and when He so desires, He selects one of His suitable devotees to give Him that pleasure. Kṛṣṇa desired this pleasure of mock fighting with Jāmbavān. Although Jāmbavān was a devotee by nature, he did not know that his opponent was Kṛṣṇa while he gave service to the Lord by his bodily strength. But as soon as Kṛṣṇa was pleased by the fighting, Jāmbavān immediately understood that his opponent was none other than the Supreme Lord Himself. The conclusion is that he could understand Kṛṣṇa by his service, for Kṛṣṇa is sometimes satisfied by fighting also.
Jāmbavān therefore said to the Lord, “My dear Lord, I can now understand who You are. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, the source of everyone’s strength, wealth, reputation, beauty, wisdom and renunciation.” This statement of Jāmbavān’s is confirmed by the Vedānta-sūtra, wherein the Supreme Lord is declared to be the source of everything. Jāmbavān identified Lord Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality, Lord Viṣṇu: “My dear Lord, You are the creator of the creators of the universal affairs.” This statement is very instructive to the ordinary man, who is amazed by the activities of a person with an exceptional brain. The ordinary man is surprised to see the inventions of a great scientist, but the statement of Jāmbavān confirms that although a scientist may be a creator of many wonderful things, Kṛṣṇa is the creator of the scientist. He is the creator of not only one scientist but of millions and trillions, all over the universe. Jāmbavān said further, “Not only are You the creator of the creators, but You are also the creator of the material elements which the so-called creators manipulate.” Scientists utilize the physical elements or laws of material nature to do something wonderful, but actually such laws and elements are also the creation of Kṛṣṇa. This is actual scientific understanding. Less intelligent men do not try to understand who created the brain of the scientist; they are satisfied simply to see the wonderful creation or invention of the scientist.
Jāmbavān continued: “My dear Lord, the time factor, which combines all the physical elements, is also Your representative. You are the supreme time factor, in which all creation takes place, is maintained and is finally annihilated. And beyond the physical elements and the time factor, the persons who manipulate the ingredients and advantages of creation are part and parcel of You. The living entity is not, therefore, an independent creator. By studying all factors in the right perspective, one can see that You are the supreme controller and Lord of everything. My dear Lord, I can therefore understand that You are the same Supreme Personality of Godhead whom I worship as Lord Rāmacandra. My Lord Rāmacandra wanted to construct a bridge over the ocean, and I saw personally how the ocean became agitated simply by my Lord’s glancing over it. And when the whole ocean became agitated, the living entities like whales, alligators and timiṅgila fish all became perturbed. [The timiṅgila fish in the ocean can swallow big aquatics like whales in one gulp.] In this way the ocean was forced to give way and allow Rāmacandra to cross to the island known as Laṅkā. [This island is now said to be Ceylon. Lord Rāmacandra’s construction of a bridge over the ocean from Cape Comorin to Ceylon is still well known to everyone.] After the construction of the bridge, a fire was set all over the kingdom of Rāvaṇa. During the fighting with Rāvaṇa, every part of his limbs was slashed to pieces by Your sharp arrows, and his heads fell to the face of the earth. Now I can understand that You are none other than my Lord Rāmacandra. No one else has such immeasurable strength; no one else could defeat me in this way.”
Lord Kṛṣṇa was satisfied by the prayers and statements of Jāmbavān, and to mitigate Jāmbavān’s pain, He began to stroke the lotus palm of His hand all over Jāmbavān’s body. Thus Jāmbavān at once felt relieved from the fatigue of the great fight. Lord Kṛṣṇa then addressed him as King Jāmbavān because he, and not the lion, was actually the king of the forest, having killed a lion with his bare hands, without a weapon. Kṛṣṇa informed Jāmbavān that He had come to ask for the Syamantaka jewel because ever since it had been stolen His name had been defamed by the less intelligent. Kṛṣṇa plainly informed him that He had come there to ask for the jewel in order to be free from this defamation. Jāmbavān understood the whole situation, and to satisfy the Lord he immediately delivered not only the Syamantaka jewel but also his daughter Jāmbavatī, who was of marriageable age, and presented her to Lord Kṛṣṇa.